G7 allies prepare for clash over tariffs with Trump at leaders’ summit

WHISTLER, B.C. — Group of Seven nations moved closer to a trade war with the United States on Saturday, as six members of the exclusive club singled out their American partner over tariffs they warn have undermined open trade and shaken confidence in the global economy.

The group’s highly unusual public rebuke of one of its own members called out the U.S. for hefty steel and aluminum tariffs the Trump administration imposed in recent days on its G7 friends.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs are driving a wedge in the G7 — and laying the groundwork for a potential clash among its leaders next week in Quebec’s Charlevoix region.

Allies including Canada and the European Union are threatening retaliatory tariffs in hope of forcing Trump to back down from his position.

G7 finance ministers and central bankers crafted a message to Washington Saturday at the end of a three-day meeting in Whistler, B.C. The gathering, meant to explore economic issues ahead of the leaders’ summit, featured discussions on trade that one minister described as “tense and tough.”

In the joint “chair’s summary,” they asked their counterpart, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to “communicate their unanimous concern and disappointment” to his boss.

Ministers urged the U.S. to quickly abandon the tariffs ahead of the leaders’ summit before the move causes deeper divisions within the G7.

“The international community is faced with significant economic and security issues, which are best addressed through a united front from G7 countries,” said the summary, was agreed to by the ministers.

“Members continue to make progress on behalf of our citizens, but recognize that this collaboration and co-operation has been put at risk by trade actions against other members.”

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who chaired the Whistler meetings, said even though the group found common ground on many subjects, G7 members are now forced to do whatever they can to convince Trump to move back from the tariffs.

“We are concerned that these actions are actually not conducive to helping our economy — they actually are destructive. And that’s consistently held across the six countries that expressed their point of view to Secretary Mnuchin,” Morneau told reporters in Whistler.

“I would expect that those sorts of sentiments will be passed along to the leaders’ round, and they will have a similar sort of discussion.”

Morneau has called the steel and aluminum tariffs “absurd,” because Canada is by no means a security risk to the U.S. He’s warned the measures will destroy jobs on both sides of the border.

France’s Bruno Le Maire, the finance and economy minister, was more blunt in his assessment of the Whistler meetings, where ministers confronted Mnuchin.

“It has been a tense and tough G7 — I would say it’s been far more a G6 plus one than a G7,” said Le Maire, who called the tariffs “unjustified.”

“We regret that our common work together at the level of the G7 has been put at risk by the decisions taken by the American administration on trade and on tariffs.”

Le Maire said it’s now up to the U.S. to take action to rebuild confidence among G7 members — and to avoid any escalation next week during the G7 leaders’ summit.

That summit, which will be hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will also mark Trump’s first visit to Canada as president.

On Saturday, Mnuchin told a news conference in Whistler that despite the differences in the room over trade, there were many areas the group was ”completely united on.”

“I think there was a comment out there that (this was) the G6 plus one. It was not… We believe in the G7, it’s an important group,” Mnuchin said.

“I’m sure that the president looks forward to coming to Canada and meeting all the other leaders with many, many important issues going on throughout the world.”

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Cannabis facility proposed for Clearwater County

Cannabis production facility proposed south of Caroline would produce 30,000 kg of cannabis a year

Two Central Alberta country singers are finalists in career-launching contest

They will attend music industry ‘boot camp’ this summer

Transit changes to aid Burman University students

An additional evening trip and student bus passes to be in place by fall

WATCH: Province, Maskwacis Cree Nations sign educational agreement

Funding and support will help the First Nations develop a Cree-based curriculum

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates World Refugee Day

The Central Alberta Refugee Effort hosted multiple events around Red Deer Wednesday

New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

LAS VEGAS — Taylor Hall has won the Hart Trophy as the… Continue reading

Red Deer high school student psyched for SHAD

Lindsay Thurber’s Kaden Nivens will head to Newfoundland for the annual program in July

Red Deer College team tackles lack of Indigneous inclusion in research projects

A local college research team has completed a lengthy project examining the… Continue reading

Officials make case against parents accused of child abuse

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Prosecutors made their case Wednesday against a Southern California… Continue reading

Manitoba educational assistant sentenced to 3 1/5 years for sex with student

WINNIPEG — A former educational assistant in Winnipeg has been sentenced to… Continue reading

Conservatives can ‘win anywhere,’ Scheer says in welcoming Richard Martel

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer welcomed the newest member of his… Continue reading

Fans grieve as detectives search for XXXTentacion’s killers

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — For hours, the fans came in a steady… Continue reading

Canadian steel not a national security threat on its own: US commerce secretary

OTTAWA — The U.S. commerce secretary says Canada is not a national… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month